Inverness Caledonian Thistle captain Gary Warren is quickly becoming accustomed to addressing Richie Foran as “gaffer” instead of “mate”.
But the big defender is already convinced new manager Foran is destined to add fresh strands of achievement to the remarkable success story which the Highland club has become in recent years.
“Richie was my team-mate before and my captain when I first joined the club,” said Warren. “We are friends and always had each other’s backs as players. It’s different now, he’s the gaffer.
“As a captain there was a lot of respect for him and I’m sure it will be the same as manager. Not just from me, but the rest of the lads. Yes, it’s strange to suddenly be calling him ‘gaffer’. But, for me, Richie has always been regarded as a gaffer within the club because he has that type of authority, the respect that’s won straight away. It was only a matter of time until he was going to move up to that position.
“As soon as the story came out that he was taking over as manager, you have to get used to that right away as a player – if you don’t and call him ‘mate’ you’ll be in trouble! From the moment it was announced, that was the normal regime.
“It’s always difficult when a manager leaves as John Hughes did at the end of last season. You are uncertain about who will come in but we’ve got a new gaffer now in Richie, and he’s the ideal man to take us forward into the new chapter of this club. He’s started off well. I’ve been very impressed with him and how thorough and positive he’s been.”
Inverness made impressive progress into the last 16 of the Betfred Cup, rattling in 15 goals in four group matches. Warren believes it augurs well for the new Premiership campaign which begins with a visit to Partick Thistle on Saturday.
“We’ve made people sit up and take notice,” added Warren. “For us, this has still been pre-season and getting momentum for this Saturday when the league starts. We’ve also got the Betfred Cup last 16 to look forward to and we got some good form in the group and scored a lot of goals.
“Our targets are the same every season. As soon as we can get it, safety. Hit whatever the benchmark is for staying up, then we’ll build from there. We are a club which over the last five years has done well but the targets have always remained the same – survival. After that, we look to improve on what we’ve done the last few seasons.”